Very tough game. Ipswich are extremely tough to beat at home and we don’t win there often. Add to that we aren’t in great form or even playing well and things need to take a turn for the better on Saturday, the team selection crucial for a game that we really need to win. February is the toughest month of the season without a doubt and this month is key to how we go into it, both on and off the pitch.
GK – Felix Wiedwald – Of all the teams who will pinpoint Wiedwald and the fact he isn’t great at commanding his box it will be Mick McCarthy and Ipswich Town. Martyn Waghorn and Joe Garner won’t worry about getting round about him. Needs a big game.
RB – Gaetano Berardi – The only player to come out of the game at Newport with any respect in my opinion. Back in his natural position at right-back due to the injury to Luke Ayling for the rest of the season for me. Much more comfortable there.
CB – Pontus Jansson – Will have his hands full with the front pairing of Garner and Waghorn and will love the physical battle but needs to keep his head. Garner won headers against him all day in the reverse fixture which Jansson isn’t used to.
CB – Liam Cooper (c) – I wouldn’t change the defence, it’s our strongest area at the moment a bit like last season. They can’t keep doing it with the front end not working though. Cooper will have anew player to the side of him, he has to make sure he isn’t exposed.
LB – Vurnon Anita – No Ayling, no Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, no De Bock so Anita will almost certainly be playing with Denton perhaps on the bench. Lewie Coyle coming back from loan has even been discussed due to the issues in the squad.
CM – Kalvin Phillips – No RonaldoVieira again, a disaster really. Phillips will almost certainly play with EunanO’Kane, it’s about time they showed the form they did at the start of the season where they looked very good together.
CM – Eunan O’Kane – I would play O’Kane and use him further forward, getting on the ball and driving forward may actually suit this game. Kalvin Phillips is so hit and miss that he maybe just needs a break, certainly didn’t do himself any favours at Newport given he was one of two first-team players in the side.
RW – Hadi Sacko – Now I’m looking at the options I’m very worried. Lasogga may actually start up front when I see the squad and who’s available. I wouldn’t play Cibicki, I think he’s had three terrible games in his last three appearances.
CAM – Pablo Hernandez – Is this a game for Pablo Hernandez? No, but we have little choice than to hope that Hernandez is on form and firing, if he isn’t then we are in trouble. Saiz is banned for six games so the pressure is back on Hernandez because the lack of creative players is obvious.
LW – Gjanni Alioski – Hooked off at half time during the Forest game and he now needs to step up and have a big second half to the season. Really hasn’t been playing well at all but others around him have. No Saiz, and others off form means we need him now more than ever. I worry about the physical side of his game.
ST – Kemar Roofe – By far and away the best striker we have at the club without Caleb Ekuban being fit. Need to get him in behind the Ipswich defence because they will want him with his back to goal and a physical battle that they know they can win.